Washington DC for Families

Washington DC is a popular spot for family travelers for several reasons:

  • iconic and patriotic sightseeing
  • multiple wonderful --and free-- Smithsonian museums
  • seasonal festivities, such as Fourth of July

Below are some top things to do, for families. And as a bonus: Washington DC is relatively affordable for visitors.

  • 01 of 09
    The Daily Show with Jon Stewart set at The Newseum
    ••• Newseum

    Jon Stewart may have left late-night TV but there's a place you can bring your kids that explains how his massively popular satirical news show changed political journalism. 

  • 02 of 09
    National Air and Space Museum, photo courtesy of The Smithsonian.
    ••• National Air and Space Museum, just one of the Smithsonian museums.
    Tour the White House, take a Walking Tour of the monuments by moonlight -- our Guide for Washington, DC Travel shares her top ten picks. Her site has much more for families as well: Free Things to Do, Budget-Friendly DC, Biking Mount Vernon...
  • 03 of 09
    National Museum of Natural History Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian
    ••• National Museum of Natural History, photo courtesy of the Smithsonian.
    For another take on the many great activities for visitors in this area: About.com's Guide to Washington DC highlights 10 Top Things to Do, and includes the Smithsonian, the National Monuments, bike-riding along the C & O Canal, and more.
  • 04 of 09

    Affordable accomodation, wonderful free sightseeing, taking the Metro to get around, free spring and summer concerts...  Washington DC can fit almost any budget.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    Rotunda, National Museum of Natural History. Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.
    ••• Rotunda, National Museum of Natural History. Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution.
    Based on a real-life family's visit to Washington, these pages start with preparations before the trip, so that three kids -- age 5, 11, and 13-- will get the most out of their DC experience.
  • 06 of 09
    Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, photo courtesy of the National Zoo.
    ••• Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, photo courtesy of the National Zoo.
    A great list for families. And admission is free for all Smithsonian museums ( National Museum of Natural History, National Air & Space Museum, National Museum of American History, and more) and the National Zoo. Other suggestions include Glen Echo Park, with year-round concerts, festivals, workshops, and antique carousel in summer months; Six Flags America theme park, and more.
  • 07 of 09
    Washington DC - Cherry Blossoms - Photo © JakeMcGuire.com.
    ••• Photo © JakeMcGuire.com.
    Visitors love to come to DC during spring break, when the famous cherry trees are in bloom. Time your visit during the two-week National Cherry Blossom Festival, for special events including Washington's biggest parade.
  • 08 of 09
    Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods - Photo © Andrew Propp
    ••• Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods. Photo © Andrew Propp

    This unique National Park just outside the capital puts on dozens of performances from late May to early September, in an open-air pavilion, and lawn seating too. Bring a picnic; enjoy performances under the stars. Music performances include classical and classic rock legends. From June through August, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods offers 45-minute morning shows with music, dance, storytelling, puppetry and theater, at affordable prices. Also, kids can take part in a Junior Ranger program (a feature at US National Parks.)

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge.
    ••• Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge.
    Find many ideas for New York State and Pennsylvania.